Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 - Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Being lonely and having a chronic health condition can travel hand-in-hand.
It’s not that we dislike having company. We love it when someone drops by for a visit. However, even talking with your friend can become tiring. You don’t want to hurt your friend so you just continue to visit, but when the pain you experience starts to rise and worsen it can become almost impossible to continue visiting.
How do we stop the conversation in an understanding way and then end our friend’s visit? This is a tricky road to travel down. And so, many times we don’t encourage visitors to see us. This is not just sad for our friend; it brings us sadness as well.
What we have to understand is that there is a real physical and mental drain on your body when you are with someone else. Because of this:
One thing that may help is to explain the road we are traveling to our friends. Some may back away from us, but some will also want to help and comfort us even more.
What are some ways that we can continue to have friends drop by even when our chronic illness tries to steal what little strength we have? One way is to keep the visits shorter. Try having your friends come by more frequently and for shorter periods of time.
Another question is how do we become a good friend to others with our limitations?
Themighty.com posts an article titled, “How to Be a Great Friend When You Have a Chronic Illness.” The article suggests ways to keep your friends such as being willing to forgive them because everyone messes up sometimes, and educate them on what you need.
Life doesn’t have to be over because we live with a chronic health condition that steals our strength and brings physical pain. We can still develop friendships and enjoy the company of those who care about us. Just as the Bible verses above talk about, two are better than one. So don’t give up on making life-time friends. There are people out there who won’t leave our side. If we should fall down, they will be there to pick us up, and we can also be there for them.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.